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Old 03-22-2013, 02:01 PM   #1
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Default Capping/corking a belgian for aging

Noob belgian brewer here. I am planning my first belgian brew, either a tripel or a quad, and had a question about how to age it. Can I just bottle as normal with my hand-capper, or should I use the bigger bottles and belgian corks?

Thanks for the advice!

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Old 03-22-2013, 02:08 PM   #2
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Can I just bottle as normal with my hand-capper, or should I use the bigger bottles and belgian corks?
Either way will work great. For example St Bernardus uses caps and corks with the same aging expectations. You can aways "class up" your capped bottles for cheap by dipping them in wax. Bulk age for as long as possible imo.
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Old 03-22-2013, 02:09 PM   #3
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Go for the Belgian style bottles and corks. They will look awesome and you will impress your friends with your class. But also I think they will just work better for Belgians. Not sure on the why, haven't brewed one yet. But I do drink a lot of em and 9/10 I would say are corked. You could also do half and half for the sake of experimenting?

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Old 03-22-2013, 02:10 PM   #4
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Yeah, I am planning on brewing this and then not touching it for a year. We'll see how long I can actually hold out.

Thanks for the help!

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Old 03-22-2013, 02:16 PM   #5
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First of all you need a pretty good corker to use the belgian corks. I don't believe they are preserved any better than a capped beer. The presentation is very nice though.

I use Oxygen absorbing caps for aged beers (most Belgians are in this category for me). A regular cap would work fine too, just try to minimize any oxygen introduced while filling the bottle. I use std 12 oz bottles. Dipping in wax again is a nice presentation, but probably not necessary for normal cellaring times. Maybe some benefit if you are aging longer than 3 years, I dunno.

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Old 03-22-2013, 02:18 PM   #6
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I like the idea of a capped beer and then dipping it in wax. Its economical-chic hahaha

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Old 03-22-2013, 03:13 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Swarley88 View Post
Go for the Belgian style bottles and corks. They will look awesome and you will impress your friends with your class. But also I think they will just work better for Belgians. Not sure on the why, haven't brewed one yet. But I do drink a lot of em and 9/10 I would say are corked. You could also do half and half for the sake of experimenting?
It's all marketing, same thing on wax. That being said, I cork a lot of beer because I like opening corked bottles.

OP no reason to do anything other than oxygen barrier caps unless you want to. Careful with the wax if you go that way for aesthetics. Most commercial waxed beers and almost all the waxed homebrews I've had have had way to much/wrong wax and a completer PITA to open.
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Old 03-22-2013, 03:26 PM   #8
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We usually utilize swing tops for our Belgians but have capped hundreds of them with no difference in quality. My only suggestion would be to perhaps gain more experience in brewing Belgians before wanting to cellar one away for up to a year. Some Belgians do better with long aging than others, and many Belgians taste great in just a couple of months. It might be a good idea to refine your technique and make a quality Belgian worth storing for a year before brewing your first one, locking it away for a year and finding it didn't turn out the way you thought it would...

We brew a lot Belgians, some we let sit for 6-12 months and some we begin drinking at 2-3 months... depends on what we are looking for, ABV, and style. Whatever you choose to do, have a good time. Brewing Belgians can be a lot of fun...

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Old 03-22-2013, 03:31 PM   #9
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One reason that a lot of Belgian beers come in Champagne-style bottles is because they're very strongly carbonated. A regular beer bottle can only handle ~3 vol of CO2, the thick walled Belgians can handle a lot more. I don't think it has anything to do with aging. Presentation and carbonation are the reasons.

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Old 03-22-2013, 03:45 PM   #10
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One reason that a lot of Belgian beers come in Champagne-style bottles is because they're very strongly carbonated.
true but there are many types of thick glass bottles that can be capped. i have enough thick glass bottles (champagne and otherwise) for 3 batches. duvel is an example of a beer that comes capped.
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